The First Financial Credit Union Blog

5 Tips to Travel Safe & Travel Smart

Posted by Edward Sablan on Mar 16, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Time for that trip?  Plan ahead for safer travels.

Sunglasses? Check. Flip flops? Check. You can almost feel that sun or hear those waves as you're getting ready for your upcoming vacation. Before you take off, make sure you've given your financial safety and spending plan as much consideration as your destination. Whether it's the sandy beaches of the Bahamas or the Gold Coast of Australia, traveling can pose some challenges and you don't want to have your good time dampened by unnecessary money hassles.

1. Tell Your Credit Union and Credit Card companies that you are Traveling

Prior to heading to the airport, it's wise to give the credit union and other credit card companies a call to let them know where you're heading and how long you will be there. The safety measures that identify and stop potentially fraudulent activity on your account may accidentally cancel a real transaction if the location isn't recognized. Your accounts can be updated so you can confidentially use your card in a new location.

2. Use Credit Cards and Bring a Backup Card

It is a good point to leave most of your cards at home with the exception of a couple: one main and one backup. Carry one card with you to use on your travel expenses and keep one safely stored as a backup just in case. This strategy will also help you track your purchases while making sure no fraudulent charges are made. Cards for department stores, shops, and other non-essentials should be left behind at home as they just become a liability on a trip.

When you're deciding which cards to take, keep in mind that some may charge foreign transaction fees that can add up. Also, come banks or credit unions won't charge fees on their cards, but you may still get a fee from Visa or Mastercard for the currency conversion. For example, FFCU does not charge for foreign transactions, but you may see a surcharge up to 1% of your transaction from Visa.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Identity Protection

How to Safeguard Your Cash and Personal Info at ATMs

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Jan 11, 2016 8:41:49 AM

 An ATM can be a lifesaver when you're on the go and need some fast cash. But as helpful as these machines can be, they're also magnets for fraudsters who are out to make a quick buck. In fact, criminals stole debit card data at ATMs at the highest rate in over 20 years during the first several months of 2015, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Here's a closer look at what you can do to stop these criminals and ensure that your money stays where it belongs: in your wallet.

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Topics: Identity Protection

How to Stay Safe While Holiday Shopping

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Nov 18, 2015 8:33:15 AM

While we all have an eye out for deals during the holiday season, predators are on the lookout for holiday steals. Help ensure your safety when shopping, both in stores and online, with these simple steps:


Shopping online

  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card for online and mobile purchases. Credit cards from financial institutions like First Financial Credit Union usually provide more fraud protection than debit cards do.
  • Change account passwords frequently, and keep them protected. Use a variety of lower- and uppercase letters, numbers, symbols and different words. Don’t use the same one across your email, bank, credit card and other online accounts (such as Amazon, Facebook, etc.).
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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Identity Protection

EMV Chip Technology for your FFCU Credit Card

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Nov 12, 2015 9:21:42 AM

By now you have probably heard of EMV chip credit cards. What you may not know is how they protect against fraud and how to use them.

Here are those answers, but first some background.

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, which are the three original companies to develop this security chip standard. In the wake of numerous large-scale data breaches  and increasing levels of card user fraud, U.S. card issuers are migrating to this new standard to protect consumers against fraud and identity theft.

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Topics: Identity Protection, FFCU Updates

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